The head of Huddersfield’s children’s hospice has made a heartfelt plea for support after a fire which has seen it lose £140,000 in funding.
The Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, in Brackenhall, had to close its doors to the 170 families it supports after the building’s main power supply was affected by the blaze.
The charity has continued to support children and their families through delivering care at home, but with the hospice costing more than £10,000 a day to run the closure, coupled with its fundraising headquarters being out of action, has led to it losing £140,000 in predicted income so far.
A Just Giving page has now been set up, with the hospice setting a target of £140,000, and it is urging people to take part tomorrow by replacing Friday treats such as morning coffee, after work drinks, and sweets, with a donation to the charity.
A number of local companies have pledged to help the hospice. Cleckheaton-based HR, employment law and health and safety specialist Howarths has long supported the hospice and is dedicating its next Musical Extravaganza Event at John Smith’s Stadium entirely to raising funds to support its recovery from the fire.
The blaze broke out at the hospice on Tuesday, January 12, and caused damage to the main electricity board which supplies power to the site.
No-one was injured in the incident.
There was only one child being cared for at the time and staff had evacuated the premises when two fire crews from Huddersfield and one from Rastrick attended to deal with the blaze.
The fire started as an electrical fire and spread quickly, meaning that the whole building needs rewiring and there is also a need for some redecorating and re-furnishing.
The majority of the re-build costs will be covered by the insurers but the loss of fundraising hours and income is a huge concern for the charity.
The hospice reopened to staff on Wednesday, but remains closed for families while essential work is carried out.
There is still no definite time frame of when the hospice will be fully up and running again.
Hospice Chief Executive Peter Branson said: “This has been a real setback for us at a time when we have children and families being referred to us weekly.
“We are always humbled by the support we receive from businesses and the community, but we need that support more than ever to help us recover from this and to keep caring for children and families who so desperately need us.
“We appreciate that there are so many great causes out there who need support but would be so grateful if our supporters, local residents and businesses in and around West Yorkshire could get behind our #ForgetMeNotSwap on Friday and donate as much as they can to help us get back on our feet and recoup some of the vital funds we have lost over the past few weeks.”
The cost of running Forget Me Not totals £10,410 per day.
And with just 6% of its funding coming from the government the charity must raise over £3.8m each year to ensure it’s able to provide the appropriate care and support to the children and their families.
People are being asked to make a donation to the Just Giving page: http://bit.ly/FMNFireAppeal or text FIRE12 plus your donation (e.g. FIRE12 £10) to 70070. Once they have donated, they are being asked to encourage others using the hashtag #ForgetMeNotSwap or tweet the hospice at @ForgetMNotChild.
The hospice opened its doors in 2012.